Aspiring referees will be able to get a taste of what life is like officiating on the Football League, thanks to a scheme being trialled at Sheffield Wednesday.
The Owls will offer a teenage referee to join match officials at the club’s final home game of the season against Queens Park Rangers on Saturday, May 5.
The scheme has been set up with the support of the English Football League, the Professional Game Match Officials Limited, Sheffield Referees’ Association and Sheffield Wednesday.
Isobel Dunn, Wednesday’s Premier League co-ordinator, said: “The idea is to give aspiring referees an opportunity to go behind the scenes on a matchday with the officials which could inspire them to pick up the whistle as a career.
“What they get to do on the day will be up to the match officals but we will give them a list that includes everything right from doing the pre-match checks to completing the warm up with the officials and the coin toss.”
Ms Dunn said the scheme was first trialled at Blackburn Rovers and if the trial at the QPR game next month is successful, the Owls will run it at every home game.
She said aspiring officials who have just completed their Basic Referee Course will be offered the chance to be a referee mascot.